Something you really need to know before buying that Tuscan villa: Tuscany is not a place of the soul, it’s merely just a Regional State in Italy.
If you are considering buying a home in Tuscany, be prepared to pay 20 to 30% more than anywhere else in Italy, aside from perhaps Capri, Venice, Taormina and Lake Como.
If you are dreaming of a home in Central Italy near beautiful rolling Tuscan countryside, you might prefer to consider neighboring areas. Northern Umbria, western Marche, or southern Emilia-Romagna are all as beautiful as Tuscany with tens of thousands of dollars in savings.
Italian regions are very similar to US states. They have their own Parliaments, Governors, Legislative, and Administrative powers. The only major difference is that US states are usually larger, and there are more states than Italian regions. While the US has 50 States, Italy is composed of only 20 Regions. Therefore, if you really want to buy a house in Tuscany, you should speak with an expert regarding financial and bureaucratic implications to know just what you are getting yourself into.
On a more personal, day to day level let me try to help you. When you decide to settle with us Italians, perhaps the land of your ancestors, or where you believe you will find la dolce vita, you will learn that Italians are not the easy comedic stereotypes you saw in films growing up. While we are extremely cheerful at times, we can be even more so formal and ceremonious at the same time. We are also easily offended by cultural differences and biases. More important for your daily life, Italian laws are complicated and nobody even seems to be in charge in any government office. Oh and everything is constantly a bit convoluted. For example, you must always prove that you are you: to the Local Administration, the Police, a Public Notary etc. Some ladies have been forced to change their surname upon arrival due to a clerical error in issuing the visa. Simple administrative tasks in Italy are usually a very confusing process that take several visits to various government offices full of non stop screaming Italians.
Though, with all its hassles, this is the place where the idea of elegance was born, where the food is beyond excellent (and cheap), where Art is Divine, people are special, the wine, sun and sea are certainly among the best in the world. Having considered all of this, if you really want a house in Tuscany, (or a neighboring area), when you have found the house of your dreams you should contact the selling agent. You will need at least $5,000 bucks just to make an offer. You will then tell your wife/husband.
And then what? Will you send $5,000 to a perfect stranger in Italy? Will you ask an International Law Office to assist you? Minimum $5,000 retainer.
No, you will probably let it go because doing it yourself you require you to travel to Italy at least 6 times. Flights, hotels, car rentals. Not to mention the language issue – as good as your Italian may be there is a huge risk you will not protect yourself from all liabilities and risks. And the final contract of course is compounded in risk due to the peculiarities of the never clear Italian law.
Through our Law Office instead, you will find expert consultants of Italian real estate, an efficient partner to pay the sum needed, and staff able to communicate intelligently with the seller and the Estate Agency (if you need one) saving you headache and costs.